DFW has become an international gateway and the nation’s new Ellis Island. The rate of immigrant growth here is twice the national average. In the City of Dallas 322,171 people are foreign-born, and in 42.3% of Dallas homes English is not the language spoken. However, only 19.8 % of the metroplex’s foreign-born residents are naturalized citizens. This is a national low only second to those found in Houston (19.4%). Very few classes are offered in the region, and most of those require English proficiency as a condition for enrollment, leaving tens of thousands of green card holders unable to apply for the Naturalization exam, which is given in English.
DFW International recently received a grant that has permitted them to create the Telemundo Citizenship Classes in partnership with local libraries. More than 480 people have signed up for these three classes, with more than a hundred people in each class. Some students drive from distances of an hour or more each week.
This week’s regular class for 130 students, with 10 volunteers leading small group work, will be held Wednesday, July 11 at the Audelia Rd Library from 6 pm to 8 pm. On Thursday, July 19, the first student in the classes becomes a citizen in a downtown Dallas courthouse.
For more information contact Miriam Valmira Cunha at 214-413-9406 or visit www.dfwinternational.org/Citizenship/